Columbia County Historical Society

Collecting, Preserving, Interpreting, Presenting Columbia County, NY Heritage & Culture.

aka CCHS   |   Kinderhook, NY   |  https://www.cchsny.org/

Mission

Founded in 1916, Columbia County Historical Society and CCHS Museum & Library collects, preserves, interprets, and presents the history, heritage, and culture of Columbia County, New York, and serves residents of all eighteen towns and the City of Hudson with educational programs, tours, and exhibits. The Columbia County Historical Society is the largest historic organization in the county and one of the largest in the region, as well as a cultural anchor in the county. We are committed to preserving and interpreting the history of Columbia County, New York. In recent years, CCHS has sustained a range of programs: our award-winning magazine 'Columbia County History & Heritage'; ongoing lecture series; annual field-trips for area fourth-graders; and exhibitions in the museum galleries.

Notes from the nonprofit

Your support has helped establish us as a cultural anchor in the county. Thank you! The Columbia County Historical Society engages our community in many ways: educational programs for adults, school-trips for children, public tours and events at our four historic properties, historical and genealogical research in our library, exhibitions in the museum and in all our properties, and our magazine, 'Columbia County History & Heritage'. Fully seventy-percent of our annual operating budget comes from individual donors and members like you--as a private non-profit, we receive no operations funding from the state, nor any federal funds, so while our mission is great, so is our challenge.

Ruling year info

1955

Executive Director

Lori Yarotsky

Main address

5 Albany Avenue PO Box 311

Kinderhook, NY 12106 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Daughters of Columbia County Historical Society

EIN

14-6021853

NTEE code info

History Museums (A54)

Libraries, Library Science (B70)

Single Organization Support (W11)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2019, 2018 and 2017.
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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

History helps people craft better solutions, and is at the heart of democracy. The Columbia County Historical Society collects, preserves, interprets, and presents the history, heritage, and culture of Columbia County, New York, and through its collections, exhibitions and programs strives to inspire local leaders, by bringing history into discussions about contemporary issues and to help understand multiple perspectives on the challenges facing our community. Historical stories reveal how earlier people met the challenges of their day and give us the wisdom to confront the challenges of today. Engaging a younger audience for the sustainability of our future is an ongoing challenge for the CCHS. We address this need by offering free field trips for every 4th grade student in Columbia County, New York to our 18th century Dutch homestead and our 19th century single-room schoolhouse, and by offering programming of interest to all age groups.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

'Day of History' 4th Grade Field Trips; Various school field trips

In the spring and fall hundreds of Columbia County’s fourth-graders visit the Luykas Van Alen House and Ichabod Crane Schoolhouse and participate in hands-on (and bilingual) activities based on Dutch architecture and landscape. Students learn to identify vletchegen on a Dutch home and the purpose of murrankers. At the one-room schoolhouse they learn about early 20th century schooling and practice writing their names in cursive and totaling numbers on a chalkboard (no calculators!).

The entire school field trip for Columbia County 4th graders is paid by CCHS, with funds raised specifically for this purpose:
https://www.cchsny.org/day-of-history.html

Other field trips are available for various school groups of different levels.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Ethnic and racial groups

The Luykas Van Alen House is one of only a handful of surviving Dutch Colonial houses in the Americas. Built in 1737 on land purchased from the Mohicans, it remained in the Van Alen family for five generations.

Archaeology and other sources of information form a complete picture of the past. Objects from each excavation on the property tell the story of Native American occupation prior to Dutch settlers, agricultural life, trade with the Mohicans for the land, changing patterns of wealth in the family, and slavery. This exhibition Installed in the North Room of the Luykas Van Alen House is made possible by a generous grant from the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation.
https://www.cchsny.org/van-alen-archaeology.html

Mohicans lived communally; women had equal rights as men, there was no slavery. Group elders managed daily activities, restricting overuse of resources to preserve them for the next seven generations.

Records show the Van Alens purchased this land from the Mohicans in 1666, wh

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

The New York Council for the Humanities helped to sponsor two guest lecturers for the 'Dutch Fact and Fiction' Summer Lecture Series. Jaap Jacobs, a scholar from Holland, spoke in July on the Hudson River and New Netherland colony.

In August, popular biographer Brian Jay Jones discussed the life of Washington Irving, author of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

Population(s) Served
Adults
Artists and performers

In collaboration with the New York Council for the Humanities and made possible through its Speakers in the Humanities program, and with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, this revealing lecture by Peter G. Rose was followed by a Traditional Dutch Dinner in the historic Vanderpoel House using recipes from historically based cookbooks. The lecture explored in detail a particular 17th-century Dutch gardening- and cookbook, and helped those who attended to understand the kitchen gardens of early Dutch settlers of the Hudson Valley, as well as the colonial diet and nutrition.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Retired people

For a large and enthusiastic audience, in November CCHS presented a panel of four of former Governor Rockefeller’s closest associates, as well as Charles Holcomb, author of the memoir, 'Oreos and Dubonnet'.

As Columbia County was first among the state’s counties to endorse Rockefeller’s candidacy, this very personal look-back was especially appropriate.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Seniors

In 1964, the Columbia County Historical Society acquired a simple brick building a few miles from the center of Kinderhook village. The small house was built by Luykas Van Alen in 1737 and is exemplary of a style of vernacular architecture specific to the Hudson Valley.

For this reason, it was granted National Historic Landmark status on Christmas Eve, 1967. There are only 261 National Historic Landmarks in New York State, and the Van Alen House is one of ten designations connected to Dutch New York culture and heritage.

CCHS has been honored to take care of the Luykas Van Alen House for the past half century of its long life. Appropriately, in 2014 we celebrated this important property, and to reflect on our responsibilities to ensure its future well into a fourth century.

Long may it stimulate the imaginations of both the young and the old!

Population(s) Served
Adults
Artists and performers

Exhibitions feature the history and culture of the Hudson Valley and Columbia County, New York, through objects and archives.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Scholarly magazine published annually by the CCHS on the history, heritage, and culture of Columbia County, New York.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Artists and performers

"A Tale of Two Houses: Two centuries of change at the Bronson and Vanderpoel Houses."

Part 1, "Picturesque Transformations: A. J. Davis Reinvents Hudson Valley Architecture," a lecture by Peter Watson about Alexander Jackson Davis, the preeminent 19th-century architect whose work distinguishes the Dr. Oliver Bronson House.

In Part 2, Peter Watson takes an in-depth look at the evolution of the Bronson and Vanderpoel Houses, both reputedly originally designed by Hudson “master mechanic” Barnabas Waterman (1776-1839).

Population(s) Served
Adults
Academics

During Fall of 2016 we partnered with Historic Hudson to bring two public lectures:
Lecture One:
"All Roads to the River"
by Peter Cipkowski
Lecture Two:
"Before The Proprietors:
The Dutch Port
​Of Claverack Landing"
By Dr. David William Voorhees

Population(s) Served
Adults
Retired people

Where we work

Awards

Proclamation 2016

New York State Senate

Centennial Proclamation 2016

New York State Representatives

Affiliations & memberships

Absolute Charter by the Board of Regents, State Education Dept, NYS 2020

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of audience members with favorable attitudes towards the issue or interest

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of children who have access to education

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

'Day of History' 4th Grade Field Trips; Various school field trips

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Annual 'Day of History' fieldtrips for 4th grade students in Columbia County. The day includes visits to the one-room c.1850 Ichabod Crane Schoolhouse and 1737 Dutch colonial Luykas Van Alen House.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Columbia County Historical Society collects, preserves, interprets, and presents the history, heritage and culture of Clumbia County, New York, for its residents, visitors and those interested in history. Through collaboration with those served, the Historical Society explores local, national and global history to enrich our understanding of today's world. We are committed to preserving, interpreting and presenting the history of Columbia County, New York.

The CCHS serves residents of all eighteen Columbia County towns, the City of Hudson, and visitors nationwide with educational programs for adults, schooltrips for children, public tours and exhibits at all four historic properties.

Our current objective is to reach and engage schoolchildren, teachers and area residents in a largely virtual way as we bravely navigate the present and ongoing pandemic with associated physical challenges, and to continue our mission--perhaps temporarily in a virtual way.

As part of our ongoing membership drive, we market our cultural and historical programs and notable lecture series online to an ever-widening audience via social media campaigns. It is our membership—including and especially member donations—that comprise the most stable aspect of our annual income.

Our longterm goal is to increase CCHS membership by 100% over the next several years, broadening both age and income demographics, (so that we are) also serving a majority of our county; educating and inspiring a multi-generational audience who will continue our legacy for the next one-hundred years.

The Columbia County Historical Society is the largest historic organization in the county and one of the largest in the region, as well as a cultural anchor in the county. We are committed to preserving and interpreting the history of Columbia County, New York.

The CCHS serves residents of all eighteen Columbia County towns, the City of Hudson, and visitors nationwide with educational programs for adults, schooltrips for children, public tours and exhibits at all four historic properties.

Our current strategies include publishing more frequent issues of our award-winning magazine, History&Heritage; creating online-tours of our four historic properties and our museum gallery exhibitions; creating a series of instructional 'wayside' panels installed outdoors of the historic structures; free, online 'Drive Through History' road trips; furthering online teacher lessons on related historical subjects; making our research library available on a 'by-appointment' basis.

Since 1916, thousands of people from all across Columbia County and beyond have enjoyed our exhibitions, historic properties, and education programs. Our research library holds hundreds of maps, photographs, and other archival material, important and unique genealogical materials and has been an active part of the community for one hundred years.

The Historical Society sustains a range of programs: our award-winning magazine; an ongoing lecture series on subjects relating to Columbia County and New York state history and culture: the Colony of New Netherlands; architecture and archaeology; annual field-trips for county fourth-graders; and diverse exhibitions in the museum galleries.

Our very special National Historic Landmark 'Luykas Van Alen House (c.1737) is shared with thousands of visitors and students who gain knowledge of 18th century Dutch colonial life in New York state. Each year, the Van Alen house also hosts hundreds of fourth grade students who learn about Columbia County's farming heritage and New York state's Dutch history.

By targeting and inspiring our regional audience, we hope to solidify a much larger, fully-engaged member-base who will sustain our operations and help lead us to our second hundred years of preserving and interpreting Columbia County history and culture. This is the audience who will learn from and help us interpret the material in our collections. It is our membership—including and especially member donations—that comprise the most stable aspect of our annual income. Our goal is to increase CCHS membership by 100% over the next several years, broadening both age and income demographics, also regularly serving a majority of our county population, with the result that our cash-flow becomes less dependent on annual appeals and yearly fundraising benefits.

As part of our ongoing membership drive, we market our cultural and historical programs and notable lecture series online to an ever-widening audience via social media campaigns.

We have a diversely-skilled and resourceful staff who are working to build out succinct online tours that may be viewed on the CCHSNY.org website, and on one's cellphone as one walks around a property site.

We have completed a large, grant-funded project of eight outdoor 'wayside' narrative panels for our historic properties, so that visitors may visit the properties and learn about the history, culture of the Hudson Valley and the area's heritage, even when the structures may be closed or temporarily closed.

With the exhibition and interpretation of four historic properties and our diverse permanent collection, which is comprised of fine art, portraiture, NYS and Dutch Colonial furniture, costumes, objects, manuscripts and diaries, we can engage a broad-interest audience to bring our mission to the next century.

Our Barbara P. Rielly Memorial Research Library contains rare volumes, diaries, correspondence, maps, photographs and comprehensive information on the history and culture of Columbia County, its founders, early settlers and native population.

Published twice a year, our magazine, 'Columbia County History & Heritage' includes a wide variety of articles on the history and culture of our region. It is delivered to all CCHS members and distributed free to libraries, doctors' offices, local historical societies, visitor centers, government offices, new residents and many other locations.

Our c.1850 Ichabod Crane Schoolhouse and National Historic Landmark c.1737 Luykas Van Alen House are toured each year by hundreds of Columbia County and Capital Region fourth-grade students, who learn about the history and heritage of Columbia County and New York State through hands-on experience with the architecture and the historic settings.

We have restored four historic properties. We have collaborated with 'Historic Hudson', the 'Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon', the 'Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society', and the 'Hudson Area Library' for exhibitions and lecture series; we have engaged generations of schoolchildren--and initiated 'A Day of History' to fund and bring County fourth-graders to our rural properties where they learn about New York State's Dutch heritage; one-room schoolhouses; The original Mahican settlers; the legacy of Washington Irving in the Hudson Valley. We have installed dozens of educational exhibitions; we have published more than a decade of our 'History & Heritage' magazine; we have collected and preserved diverse material that will inform future researchers and future study; we have created new galleries within the museum building and the 'House of History'.

We have made history and heritage a subject of interest for all residents of Columbia County with diverse programming, including various areas outside our specific headquarters and physical properties--and now with a focus on outdoor and online programming, we aspire to inform a wider audience of Columbia County history and heritage, and to help sustain history as a foundation for future generations.

Financials

Columbia County Historical Society
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Columbia County Historical Society

Board of directors
as of 11/2/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Robert Peduzzi

Retired Real Estate Attorney

Term: 2021 - 2022

Alexandra Anderson

Editor and Art Critic for various Magazines

Roderic Blackburn

R.H.Blackburn Assoc, Inc.

John Carroll

NYS Department of Mental Health

Bonnie Eyre

Century 21 Lynn Strunk Realty

Alvin Knoll

Alvin D. Knoll Architects

John Knott

Quadrille Fabrics, NYC www.QuadrilleFabrics.com

Henry Livingston

Livingston Associates

Nora Tuttle

Friends of Lindenwald; Old Chatham Hunt Club

John Delikanakis

Attorney, International & Commercial Law

André Hoek

(Board VP) Hoek Architectuur, The Netherlands and New York State

Sam Pratt

Political Consultant; Journalist

Greg Pettyjohn

(Treasurer) Entrepreneur; Financial Consultant; MBA

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/02/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data